Super 8 Review: Sci-fi or Feel-good?
With apologies to director J. J. Abrams, Super 8 is a producer’s film … Spielberg by the book: Flawed but sympathetic characters banding together to overcome formidable odds ... Personal differences among sympathetic characters worked through ... Life-affirming climax ... Brisk, heartwarming, good looking, family friendly, and love, not math, established as the universal language.
Still, I wanted to watch Super 8” not because I thought it would make me feel good (which it did), but because it’s widely believed that Spielberg knows more about UFO’s than he’s letting on, that maybe all he can do is drop corroborative hints like modeling the character played by Francois Truffaut in “Close Encounters” after real-life ufology legend Jacques Vallee.
During a June 6 interview with Eric Vespe of Ain’t It Cool News, Spielberg confirmed two long-standing rumors: 1.) that he’s “a bit of a ufologist,” and 2.) that Ronald Reagan really did announce after a private screening of “Close Encounters” at the White House that Spielberg’s movie was “absolutely true.” (Granted, everybody laughed when he said that, so he might have been kidding.)
Stories about Hollywood’s roll in government-run UFO disclosure and disinformation campaigns go back to at least 1955, when Walt Disney is said to have been approached by government representatives asking him to produce a documentary designed to acclimatize the American public to the extraterrestrial presence. It’s said that Disney was told he’d be given footage of actual UFO’s to use in the documentary. That footage never materialized.
So what can UFO enthusiasts expect from “Super 8” in terms of aliens, alien hardware, military coverups and men in black? What new insights? What glimpses into the dark machinations of the military-industrial complex? Very little.
The premise is promising enough. Likable middle school kids making a zombie movie in small town America, circa 1979 or thereabouts, are shooting a night scene at the local train depot when a speeding train is derailed by a pickup truck driven onto the tracks by their science teacher, Dr. Woodward.Train cars explode all around them as they run for their lives just ahead of the Air Force “clean up” crew that arrives almost immediately. Moments before piling into the getaway vehicle that none of them is licensed to drive, they rescue the super 8 camera they’d been using to shoot the depot scene and which they later realize has captured something incredible … a giant arachnid-like creature emerging from the ruins.Continued on the next page